The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


Full Up

Photo: "Technically the glass is always full."

I’m sure you’ve heard the question:  Is the the glass half full or half empty? The response you give might indicate if  you are an optimist or pessimist in terms of the way you view life and the circumstances you encounter. I always answered in the affirmative that it was half full, thus claiming my status as ‘eternal optimist.’ Then, it occurred to me that (as is illustrated above) the glass really IS always full of something, whether liquid or air. I changed my designation to ‘opti-mystic’; as I define it “someone who sees the world through the eyes of possibility.”  In my life, as in yours, ‘stuff’ happens. As I gaze back over my shoulder, I recognize losses- maternal grandmother at  age 4, paternal grandmother at age 14, friends who have died throughout my adulthood, my husband when I was 40, my parents in 2008 and 2010, my home in Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and along with it, a portion of our business, an ectopic pregnancy that same year.

Last week, I was interviewed for a podcast and the host commented that I had had a difficult life (or words to that effect) since she knew my history as I had just expressed it. I was surprised at that description, since I had never thought of my life as difficult at all. If anything, I have (with a few petulant, pity party moments) seen my life as being charmed in many ways. Loving, supportive large extended family, intact parental marriage, no abuse, no addiction, no major trauma, no devastating events. Even when my dad was laid off from a few jobs, he always managage to find something to tide him over until he was called back to work, in addition to my mother’s salary. We always had a “roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs,” as our parents reassured us that we would. Even though I was diagnosed with asthma at age 5 that necessitated medical appointments, treatments and the occasional ER visit, I was active and wouldn’t let it slow me down…no big surprise there, if you know me.  If anything, I used it as a catalyst to extend myself further than I might have otherwise.

Such it is with all of the other life events that have shown themselves to be motivators for even greater yoga-off-the-mat stretches. As a result of being widowed, I became an interfaith minister, bereavement counselor, organ donor educator for Gift of Life Donor Program (since Michael died while awaiting a liver transplant), as well as a more compassionate therapist. As a result of being a family caregiver for my husband and parents, I have been able to assist others in doing the same for their loved ones. As a result of all of these things, I have been able to use them as grist for the mill with my writing and teaching. There are no wasted experiences if we can learn from them.

Last night, I was speaking with my friend Ondreah about Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s poem The Invitation. I came to this line and couldn’t answer yes to it: “I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.” That is one of my greatest challenges as a therapist and friend. I often muscle my way through my own pain and struggle and am less than compassionate with myself when I have felt stuck, telling myself that I need to move through it as quickly and ultimately gracefully as possible. I sometimes move more rapidly than clients would prefer. Learning to be comfortable with discomfort.

I had posted this on my Facebook page and received poignant comments. This one came from Oriah herself:

“Edie, how interesting that this is the post at the top of my newsfeed this morning. It is indeed a challenge to be with what arises when what arises feels uncomfortable or downright painful. I’m guessing that that is true for all human beings- but even more so for those of us raised in a culture where “moving on” is valued much more (and pushed for) over “being with.”

Not easy at all- and yet, what really surprises me is that when I manage to find the grace to be with pain- mine or another’s- it changes. I don’t mean it goes away (sometimes it does, of course- but there is no deal to be made that if we are with something it will instantly dissolve.) In part it changes because everything is always changing and. . . . truthfully, my own experience is that when I am with something I soften to it- and softening (versus resisting, clenching against or around) almost always eases things a little.

For me, the bottom line is practise- I use meditation, prayer, yoga and writing to be with whatever arises- and when I practise with the small stuff regularly, I have a much better chance of being with something- if only for one full breath- when the harder stuff comes along.  And, of course, some days are better than others. :-) Thanks for sharing this and stirring the mulling.”

No one ever said that what is in the glass will always be desirable or pleasant, but sometimes even the most yukky tasting stuff is just the medicine we need to heal whatever might ail us AND you can always dump the contents out and refill the glass.

www.oriahmountaindreamer.com

 

 

 



Previous Posts

Heaven On Earth
    "Imagine, will you....Heaven On Earth For Real." These are the words that are on my friend Tambra Harck's Facebook page. I think about it a lot since I believe that we create our own vision/version in our vivid imaginations. One of my favorite songs on the topic, sung by Ma

posted 9:47:47pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

With An Open Hand
  When you consider all of the things that you desire; from relationships to abundance, from faith to freedom, from possessions to passion, how do you hold them?  What I mean by that is this:  do you hold them with a closed fist; grasping, clinging as if for dear life or can you let go a b

posted 9:07:21pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

The Art of Surrender
On Saturday, I began my day in retrospective musing. Listening to Ellis Paul singing Dragonfly  on Sleepy Hollow  to greet the sun. Was reading earlier entries down my time line on Facebook and marveled at how far I have come since everything changed with the 'cardiac event' on June 12th. It was o

posted 10:31:49am Aug. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Daring
  I am no longer a Disneyland virgin. Yesterday was my very first day in "The Happiest Place on Earth".  Earned my ears (although I didn't buy any(: Went on Soarin' Over California, Monsters, Inc, and then to earn street cred, had to up the amps and do California Scream, then Cars, then Thu

posted 11:02:37am Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Dog Poop
Today at a staff meeting for my talented team of co-workers at my new job for Elements Behavioral Health, our CEO- Dr. David  Sack did a dazzling presentation, complete with Power Point. The topic?  Dog poop. He shared the story of the family four-legged, named Charlie who is a basset hound. He wa

posted 12:48:27am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.